We were pleased to hear that Kevin Brennan, Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, asked the following written question to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
“To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on the potential benefits to the creative industries of extending shared parental leave to freelance workers. “
“Ministers in this Department and others have regular discussions on a number of issues.
Self-employed people have greater flexibility over their working hours, including when they take time off work.”
The response from BEIS Minister, Margot James, fails to address the main point, which is self-employed people accessing shared parental pay in a flexible manner, which doesn’t automatically place all childcare responsibilities on the woman. We have asked for a follow-up, as it seems the minister has not properly considered the implications of the current regulations.